Categorized | Music News

Aretha Franklin

Posted on 24 August 2018 by Brian Walsh

Aretha Franklin, dubbed the “Queen Of Soul”, lost her battle with pancreatic cancer Thursday (August 16), dying at her Detroit home at the age of 76. Born in Memphis in 1942, her father became the legendary pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where she began singing gospel, first going into the recording studio to sing hymns in 1956. At 18, she signed with Columbia Records to embark on a secular career. Her biggest hit there was “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby (With A Dixie Melody)” (#37-1961). In 1967 however, her career took a dramatic turn when she moved to Atlantic Records and their legendary producer, Jerry Wexler. Taking her to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, he produced “I Never Loved A Man (The Way That I Loved You)” (#9-1967). The two then followed it up with her signature song, the Otis Redding composition “Respect” (#1-1967). Other top ten records followed, including “Chain Of Fools” (#2-1968), “Spanish Harlem” (#2-1971), “Until You Come Back to Me” (#3-1974, “Baby I Love You” (#4-1967), “Since You’ve Been Gone” (#5-1968) and “Day Dreaming” (#5-1972). From 1974 to 1983 she continued to chart, but without a top ten record. A jump to Arista Records in 1984 though, revitalized her career with more hits, including “I Knew You Were Waiting” (#1-1987 with George Michael), “Freeway Of Love” (#3-1985) and “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” (#7-1985). She was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 (the first woman so honored). She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979 and a Lifetime Grammy Award in 1994. Aretha received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1994, the National Medal of Arts in 1999 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. She was given nine honorary degrees by various institutions over the years. She won 18 Grammy Awards and reportedly sold over 75 million records worldwide in her illustrious career. At least two streets in Detroit have been named after her. She appeared in both “Blue Brothers” films. Her autobiography (written with David Ritz), “From These Roots”, was published in 1999.

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